It’s been a while since I’ve had a “Thursday Throwback” post on the blog. It’s not that I’ve lost my fascination with “older” books, not by a long stretch! I’ve simply been very (make that VERY) busy with current books that I’m reading for pleasure, information, and to review on this blog as well as my food blog.
Every now and again, however, I feel the need to cuddle up on my couch with a slightly chubby and extremely spoiled cat, a cup of coffee, and an author from the distant past. F.D. Van Amburgh, Elsie Lincoln Benedict, Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Orison Swett Marden, and Grenville Kleiser are a few of my absolute favorites.
Last night was a busy night for me. I mean, I had so much to do! I had to walk with two of my daughters, watch Survivor, and then play a baseball game. Actually, I watched as the St. Louis Cardinals played, but with all of my gyrations, umpiring, and coaching, I feel like I’m playing. In the middle of all of it, I asked Elsie Lincoln Benedict if she’d like to sit on the couch with me. She’s wild about Albert Pujols, so she was game. She understood that our visits would be limited to commercials, but that was fine with her. She’s all about number 5.
The following is an excerpt from Elsie Lincoln Benedict’s excellent series of books aptly titled “How to Get Anything You Want.” This excerpt is from Lesson 1 and, as you’ll see, it’s the perfect place to begin. I’m typing this in just as it is in the text, which is from 1923, so the wording will be a little different from what you’re accustomed to, unless of course (like me) you also read a lot of older books. In no time at all, you won’t even notice the different ways of wording things. You’ll only notice the brilliance of the author. I’m typing in the words exactly as they appear in the original book – where the author has written certain thoughts in ALL CAPS, I’m doing the same.
I figure if she wants to yell these particular words, I’ll hand her the megaphone.
How Your Predominant Moods Make Your Life
by Elsie Lincoln Benedict, 1923
A man on a country road stopped another and said, “If I keep walking in this direction, how far will I have to go to reach Chicago?”
If you keep going in the direction you are headed now it will be about twenty-five thousand miles,” the other answered, “but if you will turn around and go in the opposite direction it is about a mile and a half.”
If you, dear friend, have been wondering why you did not reach the place in life or acquire the things you desired, perhaps you have been expending your energies in exactly the opposite direction from what you should.
If you have been getting some of the things you wanted but failed at others you have been headed right on some and wrong on others.
Now there are certain things inside every one of us that keep turning us, like a weather vane, in certain directions, and those things are our predominant moods.
You cannot entertain a certain mood and not act upon it sooner or later, any more than a man walking straight toward a thing could fail to reach it ultimately. The moods that PREDOMINATE deep, deep inside our hearts are living, vital forces, and they create actualities in our lives which exactly correspond to their own nature.
What happens down through the years, in the by and large of a man’s life, fits these predominant moods of his just as if they were coats made to order.
For that is what the outer conditions of our lives really are – garments made by ourselves when we least suspected it, in exact accordance with the pattern we carried in our subconscious minds….
….. The very first thing for you to know as we start out on this journey is that our lives are not just a series of accidental happenings, as we have supposed, but are the OUTER CIRCUMSTANCES built directly or indirectly, innocently, usually unknowingly but nevertheless inevitably, by groups of INNER FEELINGS.
These INNER FEELINGS constitute our moods. The “feeling” (not the thought) you have about any given thing or person is your predominant attitude toward that person or thing.
This is especially true of those feelings you cannot explain – that don’t seem to be based in reason or fact or anything you can lay your hand on, but which just ARE. These prepare the soil in the garden of your subconscious.
Each and every seed brings forth something sooner or later, and that something is always of the nature of the seed.
A tomato seed cannot bring forth an American Beauty rose. But if you plant rose seeds year in and year out, no matter how poor the soil, you are going to harvest roses sometime.
The acts of every person spring from the secret seeds which he has planted or allowed to be planted in his subconscious mind.
A man’s acts bring the results you see in his life, but the act, in every case, was rooted in a thought or feeling which he could have controlled had he known how…..
…. You will get a better idea of just how these moods build the realities of your life if you will think of yourself as owning a very powerful cannon. This is your own subconscious mind.
Now this cannon is different from any you ever saw in real life, in that it is constructed on the boomerang principle. Every shot fired from this queer piece of artillery comes back to you, AND IT DOESN’T COME BACK ALONE.
It returns to your feet LADEN WITH RESULTS, REALITIES, ACTUAL OCCURRENCES.
Whether these actualities are helpful or harmful, destructive or constructive, what you desire or what you despise, depends entirely on THE DIRECTION IN WHICH YOU KEEP YOUR CANNON POINTED MOST OF THE TIME.
Elsie Lincoln Benedict certainly doesn’t need my $3 words trailing her million dollar thoughts, so I’ll be brief (perhaps for the first time in my life). The “take away” lesson from this would be: Always pay close attention to your thoughts and even closer attention to the ones you put on repeat. If we think of our thoughts as the ammunition in our cannon, how foolish we’d be to not choose wisely.